"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remove The Ghost Smile

Sun that warms and lights the earth
share your gold in strands of hair.

I cry for vanity, scream at mirrors.
My head, bald as an eagle,
houses the language of Athena,
but my spirit rages at its nakedness.

Morning star burn night from scars,
restore gilded curls,  and remove
the ghost smile I lean on.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

This is for my daughter, Dawn. I have watched her face so many challenges with her health, a destructive marriage, battling setbacks to attain her college degree, but through all of it she had her beautiful hair. My poem is about her struggle when the autoimmune illness, Alopecia, took it from her.

September is Alopecia awareness month. Many people, including doctors, don't understand this autoimmune illness where your body just sheds your hair, and in my case my entire head, my eyebrows, my eyelashes and even the hair on my arms and legs. No, I don't have cancer (anymore, I am a kidney cancer survivor for almost 8 years now), but I've been dealing with hair loss for almost two years. Today, I have some blond hair growing back. I lost all my eyelashes, and they've come back in. But the truth is, I may never have a full head of hair again, or it may come back in and be really funky. OR I could have Farrah Fawcett hair.... :) What I do know is I can't hold on to the fear of living a life without hair. It's been a challenge to be sure! But....as with everything else that's happened in life...I've learned to roll with it. I am Wonder Woman, and I am a survivor. And I try to live life to the fullest, and I am forever thankful for my heroes, my loved ones, my life support. Thanks for listening to me, now go find out more about #Alopecia here:http://goo.gl/9hCHf5


brudberg said...

This is a charm worth saying, repeating and repeating. I had never heard about that decease..

Kim M. Russell said...

A strong charm. You have a beautiful daughter and she has a loving mother. Blessings to you both.

blueoran said...

A powerful, loving poem, searing with the heat that heals and grows golden curls again. Even a ghost smile remembers: that's hope, and what this offers most. Amen.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Her inner beauty shines brighter than gold.

hedgewitch said...

My heart goes out to your daughter, Susie. Yet this poem has so much power, so many images of life as well as struggle and pain, that surely it holds some comfort.

Other Mary said...

I wonder why some people seen to have so much more than their share of hard things. I'm so sorry your daughter has had to suffer so. I hope she gets a chance to read this poem.

Martin Kloess said...

Strength and charm to build upon
My heart goes out to your daughter

Debi Swim said...

"Sun that warms and lights the earth
share your gold in strands of hair."

Let's all chant this till it's true. Love sent to both of you strong women.

Stacie Eirich said...

So powerful and poignant -- tears in my eyes as I look at your beautiful daughter. There is strength and hope in her smile, though I feel the pain in your words. There is a contestant on the show American Ninja Warrior that has Alopecia -- the episode my kids & I watched with him was special, memorable and we were all rooting for him! Here's a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD4DrjFKwK4

Thanks for sharing such a personal journey. Dawn is indeed a shining light. :-)

Gillena Cox said...

to your charm I add Let Christ love prevail
Thanks for sharing Susie

much love...

Mama Zen said...

That is a REAL Wonder Woman. Blessings to you both, Susie.

Outlawyer said...

She is still a beautiful girl, and it's a beautiful poem. I have a friend who had a condition that caused her not to have hair her entire life. Very hard as a child, but she always look beautiful as an adult, wearing lovely scarves. Life seems more accepting now, though still must hard for your lovely girl. k.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Dawn is well-named, as she is radiant, and beautiful. A wonderful charm in your poem.

Jim said...

O Golly, Susie. What a tough time your daughter has been having. I am so sorry for the both of you. I had not heard of Alopecia but I will study up. It sounds like, indeed, that she is Super Woman to endure all this. As an educator, I do hope and pray that her hair will return and she will be able to continue her education, both very soon

Magaly Guerrero said...

This gave me chills. Your poem sits bright and powerful around Dawn's statement.

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